Conferences, 4Rs 2008

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'Woman', 'Native', and the 'Other' Ecological Footprint
Ariel Salleh

Last modified: 2008-08-31


When governments, corporate think tanks, and multilateral agencies deliberate on climate change policy, you can be sure they'll bypass one highly salient variable. - Global warming causes, effects, and solutions are 'gendered'. But this oversight not only compromises the design of a coherent and just international climate regime, it can damage grassroots efforts to build a global commons. Unexamined, often preconscious cultural assumptions will affect how the movement for 'another globalisation' theorises itself and what kind of counter-modernisation strategies it chooses. Thus, in a famous address to the UN General Assembly in September 2007, Bolivian President Evo Morales said: 'the Indigenous?peoples of Latin America and the world have been called upon by history to convert ourselves into the vanguard of the struggle to defend nature and?life'. Morales is much closer to the mark than the neoliberal establishment is, but his angle of vision needs a small adjustment. Half of all Indigenous communities (and atleast half of all non-Indigenous worker, carer, and peasant communities) are women, skilled in the practice of eco-sufficient regenerative labours - biological, ecological, economic, and social. They are both materially and culturally implicated in the maintenance of living processes. The paper will examine the indispensable environmental and political agency embodied in the footprint of this invisible global majority.

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